South Florida TE List Five Schools

Looking for a tall, athletic tight end that can catch the ball and block equally well? If so, then head on down to Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna high school because that's where Octavious Darby, who happens to one of the top tight ends in the country, resides.

Darby's size to speed ratio makes him one of the most deadly tight end targets in the country. The All-Broward County standout caught 20 passes for 450 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior.

The South Florida native compares his style of play to former Miami Hurricane greats Jeremy Shockey and Bubba Franks, who both happen to be in the NFL and are starring for the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, respectively.

"Like Shockey you can spread me out and I'll catch the ball and run over the player in front of me." At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds with 4.55 40-yard dash speed, Darby has the numbers to back up what he says. "I can also block well just like Bubba. Coaches tell me that I'm a big-time tight end target."

Right now Darby is open to the recruiting process and he's going to take a look around before he makes his decision.

His top five schools in no particular order are Miami, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, and Pittsburgh.

"All my favorites have offered except Miami," Darby said. "The Miami coach told me that they never offer early but he hinted that they probably would later in the season."

Pittsburgh has been recruiting him the hardest and the earliest.

"Pittsburgh started recruiting me early and they offered me in the beginning of May," he said. "Coach Partridge told me that I can play early there and that I can make a lot plays for the team. They started recruiting me at the end of my 11th grade season."

Florida State has also shown a lot of interest. Florida State's tight end coach John Lilly called him up in May and made his pitch.

"He told me that Florida State was going to use the tight end a lot more this year," he said. "I guess I'll have to wait and see for myself."

Before Darby can decide on where to hang his hat for the next four to five seasons, he has two criteria's that must be met first.

"The college that I'm looking for must have a winning program and it must have my major, Elementary Education," he said.

Darby carries a solid 2.6 grade point average and a 950 score on the SAT.

Last December, Pitt Insiders watched Darby play in the Class 2A state championship game. He used his size and athleticism to make several nice catches in the clutch with defenders draped all over him. In this writer's opinion, Darby has as much upside as any other tight end prospect in the country.

Dave Peters

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